China bent upon cutting India down to size: Mishra

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New Delhi, Dec.22 (ANI): Describing China as hegemonistic and very aggressive, former National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra today called on the Indian Government to adopt the right combination of strategic and diplomatic policies to counter Beijing's dangerous designs.

Describing India as the weakest among China's three rivals in Asia - Japan and Australia - Mishra cautioned that China is just waiting for some years before it would assert itself.

Mishra noted that while Japan and Australia have nuclear umbrellas for their protection, India would have to defend itself from two fronts - both China and Pakistan.

"Though both fronts are not active simultaneously now, it is probable and possible that both fronts become active," he said.

Mishra was releasing two books - "The Dragon's Fire: Chinese Military Strategy and Its Implications for Asia" (by Rajeswari Rajagopalan) and "Arming the Indian Arsenal: Challenges and Policy Options" (by Deba Mohanty) published by Observer Research Foundation, a public policy think tank headquartered in Delhi.

Mishra, who was the NSA during the premiership of Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said unlike other countries, India is handicapped by the absence of national security culture among politicians who compromised national security because of electoral politics.

"Even 20 years after Bofors scandal, the burden on politicians is still continuing. They are afraid to take decisions because of fear of allegations of corruption. Unless this situation changes, we will never be able to become a great power," Mishra, who is also a Trustee at ORF, warned.

Looking back his long years of service in government, he described bureaucrats as "unguided missiles", who will not act without guidance from the political leadership.

Describing China as "very strong" economically and militarily, Mishra said "China is bent upon cutting India down to size." e said China has become very aggressive against India - at Line of Control, in the writings in official media, think tanks and party media.

Mishra minced no words in saying that you cannot trust China whose only all weather friend is Pakistan. They don't see any other country, including Russia, as its friend, he said.

Mishra also blamed the armed forces for their cumbersome test trials which take years to decide on weapons.

"Substandard clothing and equipment is affecting our jawans badly. Many jawans die in Siachen because of substandard clothing," he said.

Mishra said there is no change in the policy of Pakistan where the Army dictates terms. He said as far as India, Afghanistan and the authority of Army are concerned, it is still the Army which decides in Pakistan, he said.

Chairing the book release event at ORF, Gen. V.P. Malik, President of ORF Institute of Security Studies, said the nexus between the defence PSUs, the Ordnance Board and the Defence Ministry is creating a "protective mindset" which does not facilitate private sector participation in defence production.

Underlining the need for a transparent procurement policy, Gen. Malik, who had to face the Kargil War with "whatever we have", said the absence of a "stated defence procurement policy" was a big problem in meeting the requirements of the forces.

Gen. Malik said there is an urgent need to include defence economists in integrated defence planning.

He also warned against the territorial ambitions of China where it appeared to be a gap between the Peoples Liberation Army and the political leadership.

Brig. (Retd) Gurmeet Kanwal, Director of the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, said though there is a strategic stability along the India-China borders, there is aggressiveness at the tactical level.

Noting that the gap between the capabilities of India and China are growing in favour of our big neighbour, he opined that it is better to resolve the border disputes quickly because China would be capable of dictating terms in 15 years from now. (ANI)

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